The importance of colour in design

Whether it’s the natural beauty of a blue skyline as it fades into a perfectly pink sunset or the attention-grabbing manmade colours of a red stop sign, there's no denying that colour plays an important role in the world we live in. We are surrounded by it every moment of every day, and our lives would be so dull without it. Our subconscious mind is highly influenced by the spectrum of colours we see. As such, colour can affect us in ways that we are seemingly unaware of. That's why it's so crucial that brands get their colour palettes just right when it comes to brand identity and company logo design.

Showing a brand’s true colours

If we use McDonalds’ new colour palette as an example, you can begin to understand the ways in which colour can change consumers’ perceptions. Previously, McDonalds had always used red and yellow in their packaging. This isn't particularly surprising. In fact, the colours red and yellow are commonly associated with fast food chains as they're thought to boost appetites. Until recently, McDonalds had also decorated all of their restaurants with vibrant colours because these shades are thought to increase the speed in which people move. The thought process behind this was that this would speed up the service and consumption of food; a perfect result for a ‘fast-food’ restaurant! However, after suffering vast amounts of criticism in the media for fuelling unhealthy lifestyle choices, McDonalds finally decided to take a step away from its iconic red and yellow branding. They wanted to be seen as a company that cared about the environment and society. With their new olive green and yellow branding, McDonalds send a message that they are an eco-friendly brand that is both compassionate and caring. 

With the role of colour at the forefront of our minds, we take a look back at some of our more recently designed logos to explore how colour has impacted these rebrands. 

CPS Group

When CPS Group came to us for a brand refresh, they were keen to modernise their brand. Previously, the logo was a blend of black, grey and gold. Whilst this palette denoted authority and reflected the corporate, upmarket nature of the brand, it just didn’t show the friendly, modern and active ethos that the company wanted to convey.

In order to modernise the logo and to show a more friendly side of the brand, we opted for a more vibrant colour palette of blues and greens. The blue reflects the trustworthy and dependable nature of the brand whilst the addition of the gradient shows a more contemporary ethos that is in keeping with CPS’ positioning as a recruitment company that specialises in the modern technology sector. 

Insight Law

Insight Law’s previous logo was a mix of black and red. Whilst it was a sharp and bold combination of colour, it was quite harsh and a little bit dated. It was more representative of a serious, stern company; not the friendly and welcoming nature that Insight Law has become known for. As a brand that needs to appeal to two very different audiences, colour played a more prominent role than usual. The new colour palette consists of a bold red and two separate hues of blue; a friendly navy and a calming light blue.

We chose to retain the pre-existing red as it appeals to businesses by symbolising power, authority and wealth, all of which are important qualities for businesses that are keen to grow and get things done. However, during the briefing stage, Insight Law shared their feelings on how they also wanted to be seen as a personable business that prided itself on face-to-face meetings rather than informal emails. Therefore it made sense to us to incorporate a friendlier colour into their existing palette. We introduced the light blue in order to communicate with the individual homeowner. It’s a far more tranquil colour that signifies trust and confidence. Furthermore, the lightness of the blue helps to instil a sense of calmness and serenity to reassure customers that they’re in safe hands.

Squash Australia

For the Squash Australia brand refresh, we completely changed the colour palette. The old colour scheme didn’t convey the sense of fun that lies at the heart of the brand. It was far too corporate and didn’t align with being active and having fun. As a brand that has its cultural heritage in its name, it’s fair to say that the sense of place was pretty important to Squash Australia. With this in mind, we opted to include the colours that are culturally used to represent Australia but by giving them a sense of purpose that was equally as important to the brand.

The golden yellow is a shade that’s often used to represent winners and a community of people that strive to be the best they can. As a colour, yellow epitomises high energy, enthusiasm, hope and cheerfulness; it’s the perfect colour to use when trying to engage with the sporting community as it gives participants the belief that they can achieve their goals. The yellow shade is offset by a vivid green, which is seen as the colour of balance and conveys the feeling of being in touch with the world around us by doing something active. It is consistently being used as a symbol of vitality and looking to the future. When combined, these two colours work together to project a feeling of health and enthusiasm, which is perfect for a sporting brand.

Of course, colour only makes up one element of your branding, but it’s still undeniably important to get it right. It plays a huge role in the first communication of your brand to a customer. If combined with the right font and a strong composition, you’re onto a winning formula. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so that split second in which customers first judge your brand is crucial.

If you’re considering a rebrand, get in touch with our team to see how we can inject a little bit of colour into your brand.

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